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robclem21

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robclem21 last won the day on October 7 2017

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About robclem21

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  1. You have the opportunity to have a discussion/negotiation with other students in your rotation to select sites for each rotation. If you cannot agree then it goes to a lottery. I think almost every group this year was able to figure it out without having to resort to randomness.
  2. robclem21

    Would MSc hurt my chances?

    I don't think it would "hurt" your application. At the very least you will be assessed as an undergrad application.
  3. There are options for SickKids (Paeds) and Mount Sinai (Emerg) I believe. There are no options for CAMH at MAM. I'm not quite sure downtown students even have the option to rotate there. MAM students also have the option to rotate through Brampton and Etobicoke (Paeds and OB/GYN).
  4. robclem21

    Would you do a non-degree 6th year?

    No. 100% Not worth it. You are already competitive at 3.91 (nobody aside from premeds rounds to 3 decimal places) and would be better of spending a year working on either your ECs or interview skills
  5. Hi there, I'm gonna start off by just saying that you need to take a deep breathe. There is a lot going on here and the best first step to making smart, rationale decisions is to pause and think. The next thing I'm going to say is that after 1 year of UG, there is no real way to evaluate your med school chance. It is still much too early, and from the sounds of it, you are doing most things right. The things you aren't doing right are probably not the things you think. Your GPA is fine. After 1 year of UG, my GPA was 3.5, after 2, it was 3.55. Especially since you were so close to hitting the marks you wanted, I would say your study habits are likely fine and you have nothing to worry about. Regarding your social life, you should have one. Gunning for med school is not an excuse to not go out, or make friends. In fact, because this process can be such a long haul, frustrating process, those moments with your friends and even more important. Take some time to go out and make friends and meet people. Not only is this an important part of UG, but it will probably help you do better in your classes because you will have more balance in your life. I think the EC/Employment situation is also a bit globally misunderstood. The value of these activities is what you take from them, not the title of the activity itself. As someone who reviewed many applications, I can say that it made no difference to me whether the personality traits someone expressed and gained were from employment or ECs. If you need to work because you need to help support your family, then that has incredible value in itself. Make the most of your experiences and make good connections that can lead to meaningful relationships and good reference letters. Finally, it is really important that you make an attitude adjustment from "black and white" and "all or nothing" to become more accepting of uncertainty. In this career that will never ever go away. Not only will you re-think whether you are good enough or if its the right choice during UG, but you will question your life and everything through medical school as well (and probably into residency and into your career not only with yourself, but with your choices for your patients). This is not a black and white profession. You need to be okay with not knowing sometimes and just going with it. If this is what you really want, then don't let anything stand in your way. Slow down, breathe, refocus and come up with a good plan. Good luck.
  6. @caramilk This is also good advice.
  7. You will need to look around and do some research. Different programs will have different requirements in terms of the reference letters and experience they require. Look in all different types of research (basic science, translational, clinical) in different fields (pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology, nutrition, etc.). There are bound to be options where you meet the requirements for admission. Past that point it is all about finding a supervisor who is willing to work with you and one who you are willing to work with. This is typically the barrier to entry, rather than the application itself. Email lots and lots and lots of supervisors inquiring if they would take a student with little to no research experience. Tell them you are interested in their research and that you are willing to work your ass off. Obviously having no connections or literally nobody who can speak to your academic ability is a bit detrimental, but having no research experience is not. When I applied to my masters I had no research experience except for some small research projects I did for a few of my upper year courses (non-thesis). I don't think there is a large expectation that you are able to do research at this stage. That expectation isn't even there once you graduate with an MSc, sadly. It may take a while to find a good match but be persistent and no number of emails is too many.
  8. I think this is your biggest barrier. Although clinical experience and research are not "required" most applicants will have one or the other in some capacity. If you pursue these opportunities it should in turn, provide you with some better options for reference letters. Unless you have been involved with your high school teachers in some other more important capacity since high school, I would stay away from using them as references. I think more recent letters from ECs, research, volunteering or employment serve as better letters. Most people don't get good letters from a prof who they have only had a class or two with. I agree that this would be a great option for you, provided you have some interest in doing this and are willing to accept the 2+ year commitment. In your situation as well, this may open some more doors for you down the road if medicine doesn't work out. With no research experience, finding a job in research likely won't happen. If you end up getting a part-time job though, you may be able to use some free time to volunteer in a clinical lab and make some connections that can lead to clinical experience (depending on where you are from).
  9. robclem21

    Summer Studentship - Question

    I would list this as Research Experience. These types of positions are in essence a salary, not so much of an "Award"
  10. robclem21

    use of a mentor

    I think it depends on what type of relationship/advice you are looking for. As an undergraduate student, chances are once you ask a few questions about his specialty and what his life is like as a doctor, you won't have many questions left (hence your dilemma right now). I wouldn't necessarily email him just for the sake of emailing, especially if your initial interaction wasn't very long. It won't hurt, but I would expect that relationship to dwindle and not become very strong since you won't have much further personal interaction with him. While having a few good long term mentors are helpful, its not common to meet these people after a short interaction at an event. That type of relationship comes from years of working together. Rather at this stage of your career (read: applying to med school), the more useful mentors will be those slightly ahead of you who are still well informed and understanding of the application process, what it takes to get into medicine, and how you should approach the next step in your career. A lot can change once you get into medical school and there will be more opportunities to meet good mentors in the form of residents, staff and researchers. I have had very many good mentors (some on this website), some researchers/physicians from grad school, some who are students a year ahead of me in my class, and lots of residents who have given great advice. It is always a good idea to have mentors and people who can support your journey. You don't need to force the idea though. You will meet helpful people you click with.
  11. You should think about anesthesia. It has all the things you listed in your "Things I like" category and does not have most of the things in your "Things I dont like" category. Obviously with the caveat that almost any specialty can/will be high stress at times and that most hospital based specialties will provide limited flexibility and freedom for booking vacation. This will depend entirely on how big the the hospital is where you end up and how many staff are available to cover for you.
  12. robclem21

    Harvard Medical School Prestudy

    Ya don't waste your time and/or money. Just chill or do some work in an unrelated field. There will be plenty of time to study in the fall.
  13. I have had two separate research projects since starting medical school. One has been a paid research summer position and the other has been unpaid volunteer. I can definitely say the paid summer position was more formal, held expectations from my supervisor, and I was more motivated to do the work. That being said I will likely end up with more tangible research outcomes from the volunteer position. (paid = 1 poster at int'l conference, 1 publication vs. volunteer = multiple publications/conferences). What you get out of it will be (as above) the type and nature of the research project, the support of your supervisor, and most importantly your motivation. I would typically think that being paid would be a better option, but at this stage of your career is a couple thousand dollars really gonna make or break you down the road. You are probably better off choosing something that will benefit you in your career for CARMs or for your CV (in the form of specialty and actual contributions, not cleaning test tubes). If that happens to be a volunteer opportunity with more tangible CV outcomes then who cares. The connections you make are also equally as important. Feel free to msg me if you have more questions.
  14. Interviewed a few years back on just 4 days notice. Don't overthink it. Know everything on your ABS well and what CANMEDS role each one can be used to exemplify. Just have fun, be personable, and relax. If you are an ethical person and just remain calm then you will be fine and have nothing to worry about.
  15. There is no real way to answer this because there are so many factors that are evaluated on a subjective level like your essays, your ABS, and your reference letters that contribute to your pre-interview score. It is always worth being hopeful (provided you met the minimum application criteria) right up until the time you hear back from UofT. Once you get an interview, then you have a chance to get in, simple as that.
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